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Weather: Hurricane season updated again

Lazaro Aleman: Greene Publishing, Inc.

Is it any surprise that after Harvey, Irma and Maria, meteorologists might want to revisit their earlier rosy forecasts of the Atlantic hurricane season?

Like singer/songwriter Bob Dylan sang, “You don’t have to be a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.” And you don’t need a weather service to tell you that this hurricane season has been much more active than originally predicted.

For what it’s worth, however, here is the fifth and final forecast for the North Atlantic basin for the 2017 season from The Weather Company, an IBM Business that provides the Weather Channel and Weather Underground, among other services. Issued on Aug. 22, the forecast bumped up the number of potential storms because “of the warmer tropical Atlantic and fast start to the season.”

Indeed, The Weather Company’s latest forecast predicts 17 named storms and nine hurricanes, four of which will be major, up from the previous prediction of 15, eight and three, respectively. The updated numbers include the eight named storms and two hurricanes as of Aug. 22. It does not include Harvey, Irma and Maria, to name a few of the storms that have followed since the advisory.

“The current forecast numbers are now higher than both the long-term 1950-2016 normals of 12/seven/three but match the recent ‘active period’ (1995-2016) normals of 15/eight/three,” states the Weather Company release.

Dr. Todd Crawford is chief meteorologist and explains the reason for the upgrade. “We are already off to a fast start to the 2017 tropical season,” said Crawford. “As the positive ocean temperature anomalies in the tropical Atlantic continue to increase and the model trends lean more towards La Niña conditions heading through the peak of the season, we have no choice but to raise our numbers further. There will likely be significant sub-seasonal fluctuations in activity levels, such that the peak of the season may be less active than normal but that both sides of the peak will be unusually active.”

The Weather Company promises that this would be the last tropical outlook for the 2017. With still more than two months of hurricane season yet remaining, don’t be surprised if the season provides yet a few more surprises.

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